Judge Orders Halt to Christian Health Care Ministry

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A judge has ordered a Christian health care ministry in Kentucky to cease operations.

Medi-Share allows Christians to help pay each other's medical bills but does not guarantee coverage for hospital bills.

The Department of Insurance filed suit against the ministry out of concerns some members might mistakenly believe they are paying into an insurance plan that guarantees that coverage.

As a cost-sharing program, Medi-Share says participants are involved in a charitable endeavor to help cover medical bills of fellow Christians and potentially have their own expenses covered should the need arise.

The judge said Medi-Share can no longer accept payments or pay the bills of members until it gets regulatory approval from the state.

The ministry has 800 members in Kentucky.

Medi-Share only allows participation by people who pledge to live Christian lives that include no smoking, drinking, using drugs, or engaging in sex outside of marriage. It serves nearly 40,000 people in 49 states.

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